God was a careless artist when he created Maine. He did not dab with a paintbrush. He did not splash. He poured beauty over the State. Nowhere is this magnificence more evident than in Acadia National Park, which occupies nearly half of Mount Desert Island and a scattering of smaller islands off the coast of northeast Maine.
I could live here for years and still not sample everything that Acadia National Park has to offer, much less see it in its many moods and seasons. As it was, I spent the better part of two days viewing the spectacular fall foliage, which may have been the showiest display in years because of the abundant summer rains. On day one I began by driving the 27-mile loop road in the eastern section of the park, which is the easiest way to see spots like Sand Beach, a turquoise jewel of a cove tucked between two rocky arms that is a favorite of summer beach-goers, and the historic Jordan Pond House, known for their tea and popovers as much for the view from their floor-to-ceiling windows.
Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
At the moment, the lyrics of this old song could not be more appropriate. I arrived in Bar Harbor, Maine at noon yesterday to skies so dark and gloomy that it was difficult to get a good photo. From the town pier I climbed the hill and strolled through Agamont Park where, despite the chilly weather, people sat on wooden benches enjoying the view of the harbor. I was surprised to find the town so full of tourists at this time of year but I soon learned why; two cruise ships had anchored off-shore for the day. Apparently the activity of “leaf-peeping” – traveling in search of colorful fall foliage – has been embraced by the cruise industry and Bar Harbor is one of their major ports of call.
Indeed, the fall foliage along the coast of Maine is quite showy; the broad, leafy trees overhanging the steeply inclined sidewalks of town still exhibit brilliant colors. I wandered in and out of shops, stopping here for espresso, Continue reading
The more I travel the more I appreciate the astonishing beauty in the United States. There are so many things I love: lighthouses, waterfalls, beaches, wildflowers, mountain trails, the list could go on forever. I find that most trips take on some sort of theme and this one is no different, as today I visited my third gorge in as many days. This one was The Flume in Franconia Notch State Park in north central New Hampshire.
Even though the fall foliage here is “past peak,” inside the protected gorge there were enough leaves remaining on the trees to add some color to the trails. The Flume is a natural 800-foot long gorge with perpendicular walls that rise to a height of 90 feet. It was formed nearly 200 million years ago when the underlying granite fractured vertically, leaving wide gaps. Later, the molten lava that was forced up through these cracks cooled to form basalt rock. As erosion lowered the earth’s surface, the dikes were exposed. The softer basalt eroded faster than the surrounding granite, creating the deep valley that is today the gorge. After the Ice Age, Flume Brook began to flow through the valley, and the swiftly moving water further eroded the gorge and became a series of spectacular waterfalls: Continue reading
Last night, the only thing I wanted to do was get in the car and drive back home to Florida. This happens to me occasionally when I travel long term. It may have been a touch of homesickness; more likely I just needed a rest, since I’ve been hitting the road pretty hard and staying up late to sort out photos and blog. So, I recognized my mood for what it was and slept on it.
It is rare that I cannot finds words to describe my travels, but my wanderings through Vermont today left me speechless. Each time I discovered a scene of spectacular beauty I believed nothing could top it; yet the landscape continued to offer up the most astonishing views throughout the day. I think it best to just show my photos from today, since no words can possibly do justice to Vermont in the fall: